This is the guy who made Calgary the cannabis capital of Canada

When Matt Zabloski turned the corner and looked down at the foyer of Calgary City Hall back in March, 2018, he saw a dozen reporters waiting for him.

“There were about 10 cameras with their lenses trained on an empty space — and I knew I would soon be standing in that space answering questions about bylaws. The information just left my brain,” Zabloski says. That is when he realized his life had changed.

When Zabloski became a civil servant eight years earlier, he expected to be shuffling papers, not leading a newscast. But Calgary’s success in adapting to the legalization of recreational cannabis — and his central role in that development — has made Zabloski a high-profile figure in the city and in the cannabis space.


‘People really appreciate the effort’: Canadian growers adopting recyclable packaging to stand out

Cannabis producers are proving you can judge a book by its cover.

With heavy restrictions on what they are allowed to put on legal packaging, many Canadian growers are making a statement with the packaging itself.

“We’ve been hearing nothing but negative energy (about) the packaging strategies that have a lot of paper and a lot of waste,” Troy Dezwart, executive director and co-founder of Alberta-based Freedom Cannabis told the Winnipeg Free Press.


Cannabis market proving costly for Alberta, no sign of turning a profit

Bringing legalized marijuana to market has proven costly for Alberta, with no sign it will turn a profit anytime soon.

The UCP budget, tabled Thursday, projects cannabis income will remain negative over the next four years, despite previous estimates it would make the province money come 2020.

Following a revenue loss of $34 million in 2018-19, further shortfalls are expected in each of the next four fiscal years: $31 million in 2019-20; $34 million in 2020-21; $24 million in 2021-22 and $25 million in 2022-23.

The net income projections include retailer fees and sales revenue, minus administration and inventory costs, according to budget documents.


Faulty pot: How to return your weed

Be careful what you wish for, especially when placing an order for weed online. Returning it can be a challenge, with policies varying from province to province.

Here’s what the shipping and return policies look like across the country.

British Columbia 

Bought a product that’s defective, shipped in error or recalled? The BC Cannabis Stores will take them back, but returns must be initiated within 15 days of the purchase.


If 'Wexit' does happen, cannabis could be 'the new oil' or a 'struggle' for Alberta and Saskatchewan

With the Liberal party staying in Parliament Hill as a minority government, talks of western provinces separating from Canada are growing.

The movement, known as “Wexit” or “western exit,” proposes Alberta and Saskatchewan leave the country.

Lisa Campbell, CEO of Lifford Cannabis Solutions, a licensed sales agency in Alberta, thinks the provinces splitting could allow them to capitalize on cannabis by avoiding the $1 per gram or 10 per cent federal excise tax.

“That would be seriously beneficial. It could be the new oil for Alberta and Saskatchewan,” she said in a phone interview.


City has spent more than $6.9M on cannabis-related costs since legalization

The city says it has incurred more than $6.9 million in cannabis-related costs since legalization last year — an amount that does not include spending on preparations undertaken in the six months prior to legal weed.

The cost of responding to legalization has so far exceeded the $3.84 million that was provided to Calgary through the province’s Municipal Cannabis Transition Program, according to city data.

Policing and enforcement costs make up the lion’s share of the city’s spending, but firefighters, bylaw and transit officers have also been tapped to respond to cannabis-related issues.

City lawyers and staff working in business licensing and building regulations have also been closely involved in the file.


O'Cannabis: On the first anniversary of legalization, a cross-country snapshot of where we stand

October 17, 2019, marks the first anniversary of the legalization of cannabis federally in Canada, and the date when the second phase of products — edibles, extracts, topicals and some other alternative cannabis products also become legal. 

Each province and territory were handed the reins for rolling out legalization, and the results in terms of access to legal marijuana are very different for Canadians depending on where they live. This has also had an impact on consumption patterns.


A year later: Alberta cannabis use up 25%, 500 pot stores likely by 2021

Alberta could host 500 cannabis stores within two years, says an official with the provincial regulator that’s been busier than any in Canada approving the outlets.

One year past the end of cannabis prohibition, Calgary already has more cannabis stores — 66 — than any other city in Canada, with Edmonton second at 48.

Another 154 locations have been approved in Calgary.


Craft cannabis has arrived in Alberta, and these are not your hippy home-growers

Kieley Beaudry is relatively new to micro-cannabis, but so is the rest of Alberta.

Beaudry is the founder of Parkland Flower Inc., a micro-cultivation facility currently under construction in Parkland County west of Edmonton. She is also the president of the fledgling Alberta Cannabis Micro License Association (ACMLA).

After incorporating last November, Parkland Flower’s wholesaling licence is expected to be approved by Health Canada this month. The company also has plans to apply for a processing licence down the line.

With that, and licences for the ACMLA coming in, it’s a busy time for Beaudry on the eve of the second wave of legalization.


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